System: OS X 10.10

Preview version: 8.0

When a pdf file opened by Preview is updated by another program (such as pdflatex), Preview will automatically reload it, which is good. However, Preview always shows the first page of the updated file, which is inconvenient.

Is it possible to configure Preview such that after reloading the same page gets displayed? This seems to be the behavior of one older version (at least for the one on 10.7).

  • hang in there, someone will be with you eventually :) or come back and check updates
    – Ruskes
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 3:02
  • It appears the answer would be 'no'. More nonsense from apple. Almost incredible this is not implemented.
    – oarfish
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 9:57
  • Not only that, on my system Preview crashes if I switch to it while pdflatex is still working on the file :\ Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 18:31
  • In Mavericks this worked, the Yosemite update screwed this functionality. Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 10:32

4 Answers 4


I have found a partial solution on Stackoverflow.

If you activate the single page mode (cmd 2) the focus will be stay on this page after refreshing.


There seems to be no way to make Preview.app do this, but Skim offers this feature.

On my system, using pdflatex, Skim will 'jerk' for a split second as it reloads, but it does return to the right position on the current page.

  • This is excellent! I configured Skim to auto-update when I compiled my file by: Skim->preferences->'Sync' tab-> check the 'Check for file changes' checkbox. Obviously, be warned that using Skim like this runs the risk of losing edits/annotations that you've made if the underlying file changes! Skim has warnings about this.
    – farenorth
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 17:01
  • This makes me think: it would be nice if Skim had a "auto-update only if open file is unedited" option. Not sure where feature requests go, but...
    – farenorth
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 17:03

You can use XEE, it's an image preview software that includes autorefresh. (http://xee.c3.cx/)


Improvement to Marcel's solution: Turn on view > thumbnails option. When running pdflatex and switching to preview would still bring up the first page on the main panel but the thumbnails would stay on the Nth page that you want to view.

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